By Mike Huckabee | Fox News
Democrats are already building a fake, alarmist narrative around an ObamaCare case that hasn’t even been decided yet.
The premise is that President Trump, who has never once deviated from his insistence that federal law should continue to guarantee health coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions, is secretly trying to take that protection away. Unless we replace Donald Trump with a Democrat who will nationalize the health care industry and give taxpayer-funded health coverage to illegal aliens, the narrative goes, Grandma will be summarily discharged from the hospital and the chronically ill will be left to fend for themselves.
It’s ridiculous, hypocritical fear-mongering, and it needs to be nipped in the bud.
MIKE HUCKABEE: DEM PRESIDENTIAL DEBATERS WANT TO DO WHAT TRUMP ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED
The current showdown was set up nine years ago when Democrats passed the deeply flawed ObamaCare legislation without a single Republican vote. Throughout the debate over the “Affordable Care Act,” which dragged on for over a year, Republicans begged for compromise and warned that huge sections of the bill were unconstitutional.
The Democrats didn’t listen, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even arrogantly proclaimed that Congress would have to pass the 2,700-page bill before the public could “find out what’s in it.” I said then and now: that’s as absurd as saying I’d have to “pass” my lunch to know what I had eaten that day.
One of the things that turned out to be included in ObamaCare was the “individual mandate” requiring every American to buy health insurance or pay an exorbitant fine. In a stunning display of rhetorical contortionism, the Supreme Court came to ObamaCare’s rescue the first time that the law’s blatant unconstitutionality produced a serious challenge, capriciously deciding that the individual mandate was not a “penalty,” which the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to impose, but rather a “tax.”
In 2017, the Republican Congress set that deeply unpopular “tax” at zero, and now ObamaCare is on the verge of a new federal court ruling that could strike down the whole law.
It’s possible that the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will find a way to keep ObamaCare alive to limp along until Congress finally creates a workable law that actually lowers health care costs for ordinary Americans, instead of saddling us with the rapidly rising premiums we got from the “Affordable” Care Act.
Or maybe the court will strike ObamaCare down, which is the scenario that Democrats are already trying to portray as a Donald Trump-created doomsday situation. If that happens, President Trump has made clear time and again that he wants Congress to pass a replacement law that maintains guaranteed coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions. As one of the judges remarked during the proceedings, the legal questions being considered by the Fifth Circuit could be cleared up tomorrow if Congress were to pass a new healthcare law.
President Trump would be waiting with pen in hand if Congress were to send him such a bill. The truth is, he had that pen in hand in 2017 when the House passed that very bill, but one down-turned thumb by a GOP Senator killed the very promise Republicans had made and, but for the thumb, would have kept.
But Democrats aren’t actually interested in protecting Americans with preexisting conditions. They use this well-worn lie to deceive the American people about the real intentions of President Trump and the GOP.
In fact, a growing number of Democratic presidential candidates are actually talking about outlawing private insurance and replacing it with “Medicare-for-all,” a deviously deceptive marketing term that refers to a one-size-fits-all, government-run health care system in which everyone gets the same low standard of care and taxpayers are wrung dry in order to pay for all that “free” health care.
In addition to the “Medicare-for-all” single-payer system – the kind of the system Democrats vehemently insisted in 2009 that ObamaCare would never lead to – the Democrat Party’s 2020 presidential hopefuls also want to make taxpayers foot the bill for providing that same level of “free” care to illegal aliens.
It’s a muddled message that even the Democrats themselves aren’t really sure how to defend.
Luckily, Donald Trump doesn’t have that problem. His health care priorities are simple, reasonable, and unchanging: ensure that all Americans have access to great health care regardless of preexisting conditions. Depending on the outcome of this Fifth Circuit case, that could either be accomplished by a quick fix or it could require a sweeping new health care compromise.
Either way, one thing is certain: any attempt to pin the loss of coverage for preexisting conditions on President Trump will be nothing but a dirty campaign season ploy, albeit a predictable and inevitable one coming from the Democrats. If Americans lose that protection, the responsibility will lie solely with congressional Democrats who have deliberately refused to fix their own flawed health care law because they calculated that it would be politically damaging to Donald Trump.
That’s an incredibly cynical game to play, but Americans ought to be on guard for it because the Democrats have been laying the groundwork to do just that for months in advance of the Fifth Circuit’s ruling.
Mike Huckabee was the 44th governor of Arkansas and a 2016 Republican candidate for president.